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Tim Loughton attacks ex-families minister Sarah Teather for having no children

16 September 2013

Tim Loughton has done his bit to fuel coalition tensions today. At the Conservative Renewal conference this weekend, the former children and families’ minister appeared to suggest Sarah Teather, the former Lib Dem families minister, did a poor job ‘because she didn’t produce one of her own’.

As Matthew Holehouse reveals at the Telegraph, Loughton made the following remarks he has claimed were ‘off the cuff':

‘I guess I have form…particularly since leaving the DfE as minister for children and families so made my pronouncement on family policy. It’s not just that I have changed my mind when I was no longer minister.

‘The person who was actually really in charge of family policy amongst the ministerial team at the DfE was Sarah Teather. Which was a bit difficult because she didn’t really believe in family. She certainly didn’t produce one of her own. So it became a bit of a family-free zone. I think that was a huge disappointment’


At first, Loughton denied on Twitter making these remarks:

‘Blimey-what am I being panned for now? My criticism was lack of LibDem family policy not of Sarah Teather personally who I always respected’

So the Telegraph duly released the audio recording, to allow you to judge for yourself whether he was attacking her personally or the Lib Dem policy:

Following the audio, which suggests he was addressing Teather personally, Loughton took to Twitter again to apologise and blame the media for how his remarks have been reported:

‘Hold on-if some journo distorting my comments on LDem family policy in2 personal attack on Sarah Teather v sorry but not intended & not fair

‘I will of course apologise to Sarah for the comments that have been reported and were certainly not intended or indeed said in that way

And finally to stick the boot in, Loughton’s old enemy @toryeducation has taken the opportunity for a personal swipe at the former minister:

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  • Bill Brinsmead

    Anyone know how many attended the Adam Afriyie event? Other sources imply about 50. That many?

  • HookesLaw

    And the libdems lecture us about ‘society’ and liberalism and they and labour run this fiction about tories not being female friendly. Then this nopb-end comes our with crass remarkes like that.
    All mouth and no trousers are the LDs.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Why do you have a picture of Rick Moranis from “Honey, I shrunk the kids” heading this article?

  • The Red Bladder

    Children’s Minster without a family, does that make a huge difference? After all we’re stuck with a man who can’t do simple arithmetic in 11 Downing Street.

  • James Strong

    I’d like to focus on Loughton.
    First of all he made those comments, pretty dumb.
    Then, and much worse, his recollection of what he had said proved to be inaccurate, which phrasing should keep the writs away.
    Then he tried to blame journalists for distorting what he had said.
    Some people think politicians deserve scorn and derision. Why?

  • evad666

    Perhaps if we had less Political Correctness and more Social Workers who had families we might have less child neglect and abuse?

    • Dai Station

      Unfortunately, one of the problems I have found with social services departments is that a high proportion of their staff have young children and exercise all their rights to extra leave. There is sometimes minimal staffing during school holidays which is precisely when families that are at the edge of coping start to spiral out of control. Politicians need to face up to the fact that one person’s rights to flexible family friendly hours translates into another person having to try to cover to an unreasonable extent or a third person getting no service.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Call “Rent-a-Brat”.

  • Bonkim

    She is setting an example for others to follow. People need to fast-track population reduction, not reproduce more.

    The earth is grossly overpopulated and growing; land, water, energy, and mineral resources are depleting fast; world economy is based on ever increasing consumption, all this will not last long and mankind’s tenure on earth uncertain.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Come along. What people really need to do is to die quicker. Do your bit and drop dead, friend. Do you want a world full of old wrinklies who have lost their marbles? Existence is not worth a damn without children. And why has teather got none anyway.

      • terregles2

        What a cruel remark. How do you know that she is not unable to have children?. If you cannot find a reason to exist without children then that is sad.
        I do have children but if anyone else does not then that has nothing to do with me.

        • Bonkim

          quite right.

      • Bonkim

        Are you one of those forcibly increasing world population and hastening the terminal day – may be we need to license procreation and sterilise people like you.

        • terregles2

          To suggest that anyone is incomplete without children is nonsensical. Was it for self fulfillment and a love of humanity that the Philpotts and Sharon Mathews inadequate families of this world had children.?

          • Bonkim

            I think the Government needs to give a weekly bonus to women with no children at reaching age 50 and a levy of £X,000 for people with more than one child. Will soon sort the population bulge.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      I remember reading something like that in the late 60s.

      • Bonkim

        and they didn’t listen – and no one mention global warming and climate change either in the 1960s and now the situation is far worse and people live in hope scientists will sort all that out.

    • Makroon

      You are redundant. We already have Daniel Maris to trot out the silly greeny nonsense on this blog.

      • Bonkim

        Good for you – you have been warned – so no excuses.

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